Nars and Guy Bourdin
When I first viewed the new collection from Nars which is a tribute to fashion photographer French Fashion Photographer Guy Bourdin I didn’t really look beyond the beautiful colours and enticing gift collections. In a word it’s breathtaking. Already a fan of Nars cosmetics I was wowed by the intense colours and textures of the line.
Check out these lipsticks…
and nail enamels…
and this amazing blush!
However, upon further research into Guy Bourdin I read that a large number of Nars fans plan to boycott the collection due to his controversial behaviour and the work he created. One thing I do know is that during the seventies magazines like Vogue were pushing the boundaries in their fashion shoots, this was a time in the media where fashion became art and photographers seemed more intent on challenging the viewers comfort as opposed to selling clothes. So during his time Bourdin images probably seemed more typical.
Voguepedia describes Bourdin…
“In the glossy pulp-crime world conjured by the late Guy Bourdin, women are handcuffed, hung, drowned, tied to train tracks, and crushed by sedans. They are anonymous and indistinct victims, their heads and faces often cropped off the page—their only identifiers being the beautiful clothes and, especially, the shoes they leave behind. With his unmistakable signature look—“the decked-out ingenue with a touch of morbid fantasy,”
Bourdin was best known for his editorial work for FrenchVogue and his ads for Charles Jourdan, the shoemaker, in the seventies. Like his contemporaries Helmut Newton and Deborah Turbeville, he was credited with revolutionizing the fashion photography of the era by doing away with the charming, upbeat, product-oriented shots of the 1950s and sixties and instead creating eerily suggestive pictorials in which the merchandise was implicated in vivid, unsettling narratives…
However now, his images; mostly depicting women in high fashion crime scenes seem disrespectful to women to say the least. Bourdin’s work is not all about violence, he also explored other themes like surrealism and sexuality. Interestingly though it is his dark work which is famous.
From Francois Nars lips ““This collection is an homage to [Bourdin] because he was such an inspiration in my life. When I was a young boy, I would go through my mother’s French Vogue and tear out Guy Bourdin images. Bourdin’s images were always the ones that really got my attention — he created a world that was so magical to me. From the lighting and the makeup to the abstract backgrounds and poses, Guy built up his own world. There is a certain decadence in Guy’s work that really struck a chord with me.”
Question is are we all getting a bit too precious or is it irresponsible for a brand such as Nars to tribute such a man and his body of work?
You be the judge, you can view Guy Bourdin’s Photographic portfolios here
The Nars Guy Bourdin Collection is available now at Mecca Cosmetica